There are some good news stories coming out of Brazil's Amazon. Concerned Brazilians and other committed people who cherish the rain forest's treasures are studying this complex ecosystem. Many of them use their knowledge to convince state and federal government leaders that rain forest preservation is in everyone's interest, both locally and globally.
In addition to the federal government's expansion of protected or managed forest areas, some states, such as Amazonas and Amapá, are focusing on the priority of rain forest biodiversity conservation in their official agendas.
Environmental NGOs such as Conservation International (CI) are seeing their efforts to help protect the rain forest yield results. In September 2006, the government of Amapá, in a partnership with CI, announced the establishment of the six-million-acre (two million hectares) Amapá State Forest. This action brings the state closer to its goal of protecting 70 percent of its land in this far northeastern corner of Amazonia.
So far there are 12 protected areas making up the Amapá Biodiversity Corridor, including the nearly eight-million-acre (three million hectares) Tumucumaque Mountains National Park. A wildlife inventory in Tumucumaque revealed over 100 mammal species, nearly 400 bird species, and some previously unknown species among the amphibians, fish, and reptiles found there.
"We are just beginning to access the real biodiversity in one of the most pristine places in the Amazon," says Enrico Bernard, CI-Brazil's Manager for Amazonia.